- Create an electronic inbox where students submit work instead of emailing it to you. Not only is all their work gathered in one place, but it is time stamped and organized chronologically. To do this, create a Google Form that asks students to paste a link to their work in one of the fields (see the picture on the right.) If they are using Google Docs, they need to change the share settings on their Doc to “anyone can edit” so that you can both read the Doc and comment on it. Once the students submit their work to the electronic inbox, their entries populate a spreadsheet containing their names, when they submitted the document, and a link to the document. Alternatively, folders in your Google Drive can also be shared with students: if they save documents into this folder, they are viewable by the teacher. Again, this eliminates the need for students to email you work and collects all the work in one location.
- Publish your Google Doc to the web. There are several benefits to publishing a Doc over merely sharing it: it is viewable (but not edit-able) by an unlimited number of people; it is accessible by URL; it can be embedded into a website or blog; it can be automatically updated as the Doc is edited, or can be a “one time snapshot” of the Doc. To publish a Google Doc, go to the file menu and find the “Publish to the web” button at the bottom and follow instructions.
- Enhance your real-time collaboration on a Doc using chat (appears in the in the right margin.) This only works while others are viewing the document in real time, and chats, unlike comments, are not saved. However, it can be a handy way to communicate and collaborate when a face-to-face meeting is not possible. To access chat, click on the button in the top right corner showing other viewers of the document.
- Use the comments and revision history to provide feedback for students’ writing and track the changes to successive versions of a paper/ essay. Comments are easy to insert (using either the Insert menu or Option+Command+M), can be edited, replied to, or resolved. However, once a comment is marked ‘resolved”, it is still possible to view all comments using the Comments button in the upper right corner.
- Use the templates feature to provide a framework for students as they begin work on an assignment. Once you’ve created the template as the picture on the right shows, you can share a link to this template with your students.